Guests have their own stories to tell about the paranormal activity caused by a variety of characters
Spirits have been busy in the basement and on the other floors as well.
The Enders Hotel is a three story, neoclassical building that makes good use of all its space. The outside craftsmanship is stunning, reflecting the large amount of money spent to build it. It is a beauty from the outside, with a marble base, and white brick and granite, put together in a most admirable way.
There are thirty bed and breakfast rooms, mostly on the third floor, though some are on the second. Many of the rooms have original antiques, with modern comforts as well. Prices for the bed and breakfast rooms range from $65.00 to $195.00 a night, depending on the level of comfort and convenience you desire.
The second floor is home to a historical museum containing artifacts from the past, “to step back in time to the 1900’s American Frontier.” One of the displays is a women’s parlor that takes up the entire room.
The first floor has The Geyser View Restaurant, and rooms for banquets and receptions, and a gift shop.
In 1917, The Enders Building was commissioned by movers and shakers William and Theodore Enders at a cost of 75,000 dollars, quite a boatload of money for that time! Dr. Ellis Kackley lent the Enders seed money, totaling 16,207 dollars.
Designed by architect Herman Falkenberg of Soda Springs, and built by C.K. Blocker, The Enders Building became a showcase for this little town. Originally it was a mall on the first and second floors, a place for stores, services, and a restaurant. Its ballroom became the nucleus of social events as well: parties, weddings and receptions, the center of the social scene. The third floor became The Ender Hotel and was successful for many years.
During the 1930s, William and Theodore remodeled the ballroom into apartments for rental tenants. When they were drilling for a hot water source behind the building, a Geyser erupted and became an attraction for the town, and a novelty perk for guests and renters.
After William and Theodore Enders retired, a series of owners used The Enders Building as place for successful commercial enterprises. The building was sold to Roy Kimball, who took over the reigns and ran The Ender Hotel and its businesses. In 1950, Mr. and Mrs. J.M. Frazier bought it and added a coffee shop.
In the 1960s, Glen and Olive Enders, probably relatives of William and Theodore, were the next owners.
Lynn G. and Beth Beus bought The Enders Building in the 1970s and began closing it during the winter months. Uh oh. The building became a no frills “working man’s hotel.” Over time, it came to need funds to restore and renovate, but there was only money for maintenance.
By 1991, The Enders Building had become a huge fixer-upper opportunity. The price tag to restore it would be much greater than what most people could afford.
By the time Louise O. Collard purchased The Enders Building, it was a creaky old Dame. Louise moved in and closed the run-down second and third floors, but still ran The Enders Cafe and the Office Bar & Lounge to bring in enough revenue to keep the lights and heat on, and pay the mortgage.
Louise had a plan though. While she couldn’t afford to restore it, she was able to get protection for The Enders Building. She gathered other people in Soda Springs, specifically Craig Call and the Caribou Historical Society, who were worried about the future of the building. Together, they applied and got The Enders Building onto the National Registry of Historic Buildings on May 14th, 1993.
In 1997, Rex G. Maughan, creator of The Soda Springs Idaho Historical Museum Inc., bought the building from Louise Collard. As a tribute to his “Class of 54” and to the community that long loved the Enders, his foundation went on a four year renovation/restoration of it which cost over one million dollars. While it was a hefty price, The Enders Building was once more the pride of Soda Springs, with all three of its floors being put to good use!
Apparently, some people who loved this place in life, continue to visit or reside here in spirit form.
HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS
While no one knows for sure who the hotel’s spectral residents are, there are some possible reasons why they would choose to stay here.
Renovating and restoring a historical building can act like an environmental trigger, drawing spirits who had strong connections to the structure back into this world. Spirits who never left the structure can become active participants in their newly renewed favorite place.
Past owners, employees and guests in spirit form are likely candidates.
People who died in accidents or who were killed in other ways in structures, sometimes choose to stay where they perished, especially if they liked the place. One urban legend says that a man was shot and killed here. Another legend claims that a man fell down the stairs.
When peoples’ one-time cherished possessions are on display, their spirits sometimes come and visit them. The museum on the second floor has many personal items of people who lived in town or in surrounding areas.
Ghost Hunter groups have caught hard evidence that backs up what staff and guests have experienced, though they haven’t made it public.
An Entity in the Basement – Possibly a past employee or owner.
A photo taken by a camera caught the image of an entity, but it didn’t reveal if it was a male or female spirit.
Apparently this entity has spectral company. Living witnesses have also heard footsteps, and voices.
Areas of the Second and Third floor
Staff have experienced footsteps, voices, and even seen an apparition floating about, going about its business.
Guests have their own stories to tell.
One former guest reported, “I saw a shape whisk past me with the consistency of cob webs.”
Another guest shared that a rocking chair in their room began to rock on its own when there was no logical source of power.
Another guest reported that the hall bathroom’s old-fashioned toilet flushed all by itself, letting these visitors know that they were not alone.
Another guest shared the room with a former resident in spirit form, who enjoyed taking baths, splashing around. When the living guest would go to the bathroom, and turn on the lights, the splashing would stop.
When Tom and I looked around the second and third floors during our visit, I felt the dizzy feeling on the main staircase that I experience when an entity is present, probably checking us out.
Yes Indeed! The spirits are supportive of the current owners and staff, and enjoy their memories and the work they once did here themselves.
One or two may be a little territorial about space, but don’t scare the living; just let them know that they are present and use the space too. They are willing to share with guests. One apparently can’t resist the bathtub in one of the rooms. It was probably a luxury that this spirit couldn’t indulge in while alive and living at the hotel.
76 S. Main Street,
Soda Springs, Idaho
Located in The Enders Building, The Enders Hotel sits on Main Street in a “small Classic American Western Town”, between East 1st Street South and East Hooper Avenue. It has a geyser located on the land behind their building, which is regulated by the city of Soda Springs to erupt on the hour.
- The Ghost Hunter’s Field Guide
by Rich Newman
Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr